It is a common belief that older adults in rural areas have high subjective well-being, despite often experiencing greater poverty and having access to fewer resources than older adults who live in urban areas, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as the “rural-urban paradox.” However, research does not consistently find high well-being in rural areas, which might be due to research not distinguishing between very rural and semi-rural (or small town) settings. This study compares the subjective well-being of older adults in micropolitan and noncore counties with the well-being of older adults in metropolitan areas in Mississippi (n = 659). Preliminary results indicate metropolitan respondents reporting higher subjective well-being than both micropolitan and noncore respondents. However, after accounting for key covariates, micropolitan residents were found to have significantly lower levels of subjective well- being compared to metropolitan residents. Overall, our study suggests that micropolitan settings may be less conducive to healthy, successful aging when compared to metropolitan settings.
Adams-Price, Carolyn, Joshua Turner, and Margaret Ralston. 2020. "Well-being among Older Adults in Mississippi: Exploring Differences between Metropolitan, Micropolitan, and Noncore Rural Settings." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 35(2): Article 4. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol35/iss2/4